Our Team

Creating Theatre (the art form vs Theater, the building) takes a village. Meet our teachers, staff, artistic partners, boosters, and others who are having or left a lasting impression on our program.

Theatre Department Staff

Morgan Heetbrink, LWHS Drama Teacher and Stage Director

Ms. Heetbrink is a 10+ year veteran stage director and acting instructor with teens and adults, as well as a successful actor. Between 2008 and 2015 she was in charge of the financially successful and critically acclaimed Summer Teen Ensemble program at The Edmonds Driftwood Players.

Her passion for Musical Theatre is apparent for anybody that sees her work and the results she achieves. In addition to being a full time teacher and  part-time actor (most recently Tracy Turnblad in
Hairspray), some of her many directorial credits include Les Miserables, The Wizard of Oz, Disney's Beauty and The Beast, Self Composed, The Music Man, Shrek, My Fair Lady, A Delightful Quarantine, Mating and Dating in Modern Times, RENT School Edition, Oliver!, The Addams Family, and Almost Maine.

 

Morgan received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater Arts with concentrations in Directing and Creative Writing from Western Washington University and a Master of Education degree from the University of Washington with certifications in English Language Arts and Drama.

Mark Staiff, LWHS Theater Manager and Technical Director

Mark oversees all use of our extremely busy theater. He books events in the space for both district and community rentals and works closely with users to help them have the best event possible. He teaches and manages a crew of technicians to make sure all events are properly staffed. For some events he works as a technician solo while other events are technically supported by his well-trained staff. Mark manages the theater budgets for maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. To keep the space in top condition, he does a variety of frequent maintenance and repair work, and handles all contracts and billing for building rentals and staffing fees. Last but not least, whenever possible, Marks designs and supervises the building, painting and dressing of sets for LWHS Theatre productions.

Natalie Fuentes, LWHS Orchestra Director

Natalie Fuentes. Mrs. Fuentes is the Orchestra Director at LWHS as well as the KiMS Elementary Orchestra Director. She is a violinist who is passionate about sharing her love of music with her students. She is excited to work with Ms. Heetbrink and Mr. Linnes for the 2nd year in a row supporting the Drama Department. She is incredibly proud of all the student members of the Pit Orchestra and cannot wait for future shows!

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Guest Teaching Staff

Paul Linnes, Music Director, Conductor and Vocal Instructor

Paul Linnes has been critically acclaimed as having a “sonorous voice” that is “remarkable for the clarity and vigor of its lower range.” He has performed principal roles in many operas, including two world premieres, and been a soloist in concert works with orchestras throughout the West Coast and Far East, including international tours as a featured soloist with the Roger Wagner Chorale.

Other activities have included recordings with the Roger Wagner Chorale and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the motion picture soundtracks for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Jurassic Park under the direction of John Williams, Ghost Rider (2007), and various video game titles including Halo and Age of Empires

Mr. Linnes was twice a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and San Francisco Opera Center Auditions, a National Scholarship Winner in the Bel Canto Foundation National Opera Auditions, past winner of the Performing Arts Festival of the Eastside’s annual competition in Seattle, and a former Principal Artist in Residence with Opera San José. He has also sung in numerous languages; aside from the traditional musical languages, he has performed in Armenian, Hebrew, Japanese and Korean. 

Mr. Linnes received his BA in Music from California State University, Hayward, including conducting studies with Dr. Denis DeCoteau, former Music Director and conductor for the San Francisco Ballet. He received his MM in Vocal Performance (Opera) from the University of Southern California, and is a former student of famed Metropolitan Opera bass Giorgio Tozzi. 

In addition to maintaining a private voice studio, he also teaches private voice at Roosevelt High School as part of their drama program and is regularly invited to adjudicate vocal competitions. He has appeared frequently as Musical Director/Pianist for numerous productions and theatre companies throughout the Puget Sound region and is also a founding member of the UW’s Advisory Board in the Performing Arts. While performing on stage or in the studio are not things he has much time to pursue anymore, he absolutely loves the “intersection of disciplines” which music direction in the theatre provides. Call 425-894-0678 for schedule and rates.

Laura Garber, Choreographer

Laura Garber has a passion for dance of all forms, but wishes to be buried in her tap shoes, please. She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree in Musical Theatre with a Dance Minor from Northwestern State University, LA in 2001, and has kept the Arts a priority ever since.

For a tenure, Laura performed across the states with various regional theaters then found herself in love with both WA state and teaching. She founded/directed a youth musical theatre group, Applause Players (Mill Creek), and developed the program for 9 years. From there, Laura transitioned to choreographing dance/combat for Lynnwood High School. Those credits include such shows as The Wedding Singer, Guys and Dolls, Annie Get Your Gun, Shrek and The Music Man.

She is excited to co-create for Newsies and looks forward to a fabulous production.

Daniel Barnum, Choreographer

Danielle Barnum is a Seattle-based performer and choreographer with a background in theatre, T.V. and film. Throughout her career, she has performed regionally in shows with Village (Iron Curtain; It Shoulda Been You), 5th Avenue (First Date; Beatsville (reading),  Artswest's Tell me on a Sunday, Balagan (Les Miserables), Showtunes (High Society; Nine), Mt. Baker Theatre (Into the Woods) and Seattle Musical Theatre (Little Women; Chicago; Jane Eyre), and has appeared on TNT's Leverage, as well as various commercials. She has also choreographed several productions including favorites Suessical, Aida and Guys and Dolls, as well as University dance showcases. See Danielle's acting resume here: http://daniellebarnum.yolasite.com/.

 

In her other professional life, Danielle is a recognized photographer for headshots, seniors and weddings at www.InspireByDanielle.com".

Erika Jacobson, Make-up and Special Effects Artist

Erika Jacobson went to school for a long time and now she has a bunch of very legal and official documents that say she can do art and cut hair. She's ready to take on the world. She cuts hair, bloodies/pretties people up with makeup, and makes weird art with her friends and community. Erika owns her own freelance business, Blood Orange Designs, where she makes a wide variety of zany things, from costumes to dismembered fingers to couch cushions to fabulous hair. Her goals include: owning more kittens, working on a feature horror film, learning to do a handstand, and being able to afford living in Seattle.

Nick Terry, Improv Instructor

Nick Terry is an improvisational actor/screenwriter/director born and raised in the Seattle area. He's had many theatrical and on-screen roles since first becoming interested in the performing arts at an early age, has produced several films featuring long-form improvisation, and has been a member of an award winning improv team. He works locally as an actor and editor while continuing to make time for his own creative projects.  

Alan Garcia, Improv Instructor

Alan is an alumni of Mountlake Terrace High School’s Theatresports team, which has won the Hogan Cup numerous times, a local improv competition between high schools in the greater Seattle area. A year after graduating high school, he founded the first improv group at his university’s campus and served as its president for two years. A graduate of St. John’s University with a B.S. in Film & Television Production, Alan has been acting in theatrical productions since the ripe old age of 5. Past theatrical credits include Prisoner in ACT Theatre’s Bad Apples, Evan in ReAct Theatre’s The Aliens, and Moritz in SecondStory Repertory’s Spring Awakening, as well as the Tolarian Scholar in the Core Set 2019 for Magic: The Gathering. When not acting, Alan loves to check in to Schrute Farms Bed & Breakfast with his fiancée, chase his two kids around Central Perk, and helping out on yet another Nick Terry film project.

Gavin McLean, Fight and Movement Instructor

Gavin is a 2008 Cornish College of the arts graduate (BFA Theater, AA English) and has worked in the professional theater for 15 years. Gavin has enjoyed many years working with kids in the instruction of Stage Combat and Voice/Dialects and has worked with many other high school drama programs. Some of which include Lynnwood High school, Lincoln High school, Walla Walla High, and many others. "In my teen years it was a dream to one day be a theater instructor. I've always found the instruction of others the best way to solidify one's own knowledge base. Theater performance is sometimes viewed as 'easy' compared to sports; My methods combine the teachings of 'Feldenkries' movement, 'Meyerhold' Biomechanics, and the 'Meisner' acting technique. I am certified by the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD), I hold rankings in different martial arts, and have taught students in a formal classroom setting for over 10 years. My class will push you to your limits and take you to the next level of acting."

Rich Brown, Guest Teacher

Associate Professor RICH BROWN landed at Western Washington University in 2006 where he currently teaches psychophysical acting, Suzuki, Viewpoints, commedia, and devising. He has published in Theatre Topics, Theatre Journal, College Teaching, The Western States Theatre Review, and the book Aesthetics & Business Ethics, and presented at six ATHE conferences on devising.  Over the past few years he has led Viewpoint Intensives for Teatrul Fara Frontiere at the National Theatre of Romania in Bucharest and led Devising Intensives for Bucknell University, Seattle University, Rio Hondo College, Lewis & Clark College, and Texas Tech U, as well as professional devising companies hand2mouth (Portland) and Blessed Unrest (NYC).

Recently, Rich performed in The Pillowmanat the iDiom Theatre, Poison the Well at the Vancouver Fringe Festival, Into the Woods and Art at the Mt. Baker Theatre, The American Family at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (which he also co-directed), Circle Mirror Transformation at Idaho Repertory Theatre, and Lying with Blessed Unrest in NYC.

 

Recent directing credits include the devised works cheat, Us, Soapbox, Commedia in the Parksand scripted plays Some Girl(s) and Corktown (WWU premiere by Jeff Augustine). Rich received a Bellingham Mayor’s Arts award in 2008, WWU’s prestigious Excellence in Teaching award in 2010, and the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival awarded him the National Outstanding Lead Deviser/Director of a Devised Work in 2012.  He is currently devising a new work on neo-masculinity with New York based solo-performer Bill Bowers.

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Key Team Members

Armin Liedtke, Lead Technician

Behind every show is a lead technician, working behind the scenes, in the wings, anonymously in the shadows but oh so critically important! Armin also plays a key role in teaching our students the many aspects of the technical side of theatre: lighting, set building, set flying, stage management, safety, and many other skills.

Linda Leste, Theatre Boosters, President

Linda is the president of the Boosters for 2019-2020. As president, her role is to run the monthly Booster meetings and work with all of the great parents who are on the Board to support Ms. Heetbrink and the students in their shows. Linda has no background in theatre besides watching her big sister be in every show possible and being a personal booster to her daughter, Sara.

Margaret Chorlton, Theatre Boosters, Secretary

coming soon

Dianna Caley, Theatre Boosters, Treasurer

Dianna is a board member at large.  She is in charge of newsletters so if you have any interesting information for parents of aspiring actors, technicians and theater lovers please email her at  dianna at caleypllc dot com.  Dianna has two daughters attending LW this year, Lizzy and Sophie who will be in the Running Start program.  They both love theater and she loves to support them in an activity that brings them so much joy. 

Aimee Hickman Woolwine, Theatre Booster, Props Mistress

Aimee is a lifelong fan of theatre (especially musical theatre) and proud to join the booster board for the 2019-2020 school year. Mom to an alumni techie, Nicky, and current student actor, Kalen, Aimee has been organizing props for LW productions since Spring 2018. She is at her best when she gets to put on her creative cap and apply her crafting skills to a props challenge, and she's at her happiest when everyone's hard work comes together to make onstage magic.

Karee Oliver, Theatre Boosters, Costuming Magician

Sherri Monteith, Theatre Boosters, Lobby Sales

Sherri is a Co-VP of Lobby Sales for the Boosters for 2019-2020. Her role is to sell as many Buttons and StarGrams as humanly possible to raise funds supporting the students in their productions. While the rest of her family participates on the artistic side of theatre (her son Sheadyn is a junior who loves all things acting), Sherri’s happy to contribute as much as possible behind the scenes. 

Lisa Musil, Theatre Booster, Lobby Sales

Lisa helps with Lobby Sales Concessions for the Boosters for 2019-2020. Her role along with Heather Richins is to organize and sell concessions during the theater production runs. Heather and her have been a team creating play themed concession tables since they met back in 2014 when their boys Quinn and Ben were in their first play together in 6th grade. Lisa has never been onstage herself but has enjoyed supporting and watching the amazing shows these students and Ms. Heetbrink create.

Heater Richens, Theatre Booster, Lobby Sales

Coming Soon

Shanna Barr, Theatre Booster, Producer

Shanna is a huge fan of both theatre and kids, so she is doubly excited to serve on the booster board.  Her goal as a producer is to help each production run seamlessly, reduce stress for all involved, and to sell out every show!  She became an instant fan of  LWHS drama and director Morgan Heetbrink when her then middle school daughter Brooke asked her family to attend "Beauty and the Beast" in May 2018.  Brooke is now a freshman and is thrilled to have the chance to learn and grow through participating in the program here.

Jenn Malick, Theatre Booster, Producer

Jennifer is the Co-Producer for the Boosters for 2019-2020. Her role is to coordinate Booster communication, volunteers, and event promotion. She co-produced and managed costumes for Mulan Jr. for Rose Hill Middle School. She looks forward to supporting the wonderful theatre program at the LWHS where her son Duncan is a senior on the Theatre Tech Crew and her son Quinn is a freshman excited to join the drama program.

Mako Guest, Theatre Boosters, Cast Fuel

Coming Soon

Heather Ortega, Theatre Boosters, At Large

Coming Soon

Jessica Reeg, Theatre Boosters, At Large

Coming Soon

Christine King, Theatre Boosters, Publicity

Christine has taken on a new role as Publicity Chair to help the LWHS Theatre group get the word out to the community, build grassroots and commercial support, and advertise our events. Her daughter Madeleine is also new to LWHS this year and is beyond excited to be in the theatre community. Christine's favorite class throughout school was choir and she is a lifelong fan of the classic Broadway musical (seen most of 'em and when lucky even acted/sang in a few); Madeleine has introduced her to Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen and Be More Chill, among others.     

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Emeriti Staff

Amy "Sully" Sullivan, Drama Teacher, Stage Director (2011-2016)

“Sully” grew up in a family of music and drama teachers. Her first musical was The Music Man at age four. She’s since been in over twenty musicals with an estimated five-hundred performances under her belt…and that’s not including plays or choral/music performances.

 

She garnered two nominations for “Best Actress in a Leading Role” from the 5th Avenue Theater High School Musical Awards in her youth. She also acted and modeled in the IMTA Convention in New York taking 2nd place out of thousands of competitors. She likes to use the skills she attained from such experiences to help her students reach their fullest potential as performers and confident public speakers.

 

She looks back fondly on being in charge of the Drama Department at LW for five years, during which time she directed and produced over 25 productions/shows. She stepped down in 2016 to spend more time with her family and devote herself fully to teaching English and History at LW.

 

Sully currently teaches LW World Religions, English 9 Honors, and AP Language and Composition and supports the LW Drama students, Theater Manager Mark Staiff, and Director Ms. Heetbrink from the audience!

Irene Dempsey Kaufman, Drama Teacher, Stage Director (1970-2003)

Mrs Kaufman taught Drama for many, many years at LW in the old school.  Among the 3-4 shows per year she produced and directed were musicals such as Grease, Guys and Dolls, Winnie the Pooh (for which she created all the costumes), Once Upon a Mattress (which prompted a complained to Olympia for a show title that was "too suggestive"), and too many others to recall.

Among Mrs Dempsey's many accomplishment, she, together with Gary Evans (then LW's band teacher), in 1985 directed West Side Story. (YouTube video here) in the Gymnasium of the old High School with an excellent student orchestra, directed by Gary. Please note here that musically and vocally West Side Story  is a very challenging show.

 

She recalls that between Gary and herself they spent the night before opening night hanging theater lights in the Gym. Then after the first weekend of shows all the lights had to come back down for the week of PE classes. And for the 2nd weekend of performances, all of the lights had to go back up.

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Lake Washington High School Performing Art Center,
12033 NE 80th Street, Kirkland, WA 98033.   (425) 936-1700

Ms. Morgan Heetbrink, Drama Adviser/Drama Educator, mheetbrink@lwsd.org          Mr. Mark Staiff, Tech Director/Theater Manager, mstaiff@lwsd.org

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